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Updated: *Disney* CEO Bob Iger describes his take on authentication as a “healthy amount of skepticism but open minded.” That said, he also expressed more than a few concerns about the idea during the Disney (NYSE: DIS) Q2 earnings call. For instance, he’s not thrilled by the idea linked to TV Everywhere or other authentication efforts that video subscribers should get the same content at no extra cost via broadband.
Iger told analysts: “Our product is extremely valuable … and if we are offering it on another platform or in another location for the consumer to access it, I believe that’s more value we are delivering [to a distributor or consumer] and we should get paid appropriately.”
He added that it’s “pretty interesting” the entities that have criticized Disney are “willing to give it away for free.” Iger didn’t call anyone out by name but he clearly is referring to his colleagues who have criticized the broadcast networks for making too much available for free via Hulu or network sites. Disney/ABC became an equity partner in ad-supported Hulu earlier this summer, along with News. Corp and NBC Universal.
Iger also talked about the consumer experience, something mentioned often by Disney execs when they defend keeping content in their own players, as is the case now with ESPN and YouTube, or, in the case of Hulu, a player they’ve agreed to use. “We do worry that it could create issues for the consumer that could do more harm than good.” He wants it distributed in a way that’s “consumer friendly.”
— New premium service: As he did during the last earnings call — and on other occasions since then, Iger talked about launching a premium site for Disney-branded content starting with movies. Looking for specifics? So were analysts, but they didn’t get any beyond it’s in development stage and it’s coming. Iger wouldn’t say when or do much beyond a soft pitch of the vague idea: “We think there